Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU should attack the terrorists, not attack the United States

10th March 2004

The United States was slammed today by Members of the European Parliament for its handling of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay. The Andreasen Report says the United States is breaking the Geneva Convention, and that the treatment of detainees will bring dire consequences for relations between the US and EU. It also criticises President Bush's military order of November 2001 regarding the detention and treatment of "certain non-citizens" in the war against terrorism.

Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative Spokesman on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, said:

"This report is a thinly veiled attack on the United States of America and its fight against terrorism. It should condemn Al Qaeda, who have killed and maimed thousands of innocent people and concern itself with the rights of people in Europe to go about their lives in safety without fear of another terrorist attack.

"This Parliament should be looking at ways to combat international terrorism, not using people in Guantanamo Bay as a way to attack the United States."


Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, Conservative Spokesman on Human Rights, said:

"Of course, all prisoners should be held in humane conditions and their status clarified as soon as possible. Beyond that, normal rules often have to be suspended when dealing with terrorism, particularly in the context of the dangerous situation revealed by the 11 September attacks.

"In its vote today, the European Parliament has merely taken another opportunity for criticism of the United States in the fight against terrorism, focusing too much attention on the rights of terrorist suspects and too little on the security of our own loyal citizens. Any persons that have engaged in terrorism or other violent actions against the forces of the Crown should be dealt with appropriately."